Bar Guide: The 10 Best Happy Hours in Reykjavík Skip to content

Bar Guide: The 10 Best Happy Hours in Reykjavík

By Telma

nightlife in Reykjavík
Photo: Photo: Golli. Happy hour in Reykjavík..
Hótel Breiðdalsvík

While most tourists in Iceland prioritise experiencing the country’s breathtaking nature and geothermal wonders, why not enhance your visit with a proper night out in Reykjavík city? 

Reykjavík’s diverse bar scene offers plenty of options, ranging from luxurious cocktail bars to charming microbreweries and everything in between.
Plan your route with this happy hour guide or have a local show you around town with the Reykjavík Beer and booze tour

The best happy hours in downtown Reykjavík

Starting your night out on the town at one of the many happy hours in Reykjavík can be a great way to drink cheaper, meeting some locals or getting to know other tourists. 

Most happy hours start around 4 PM and last until 6 or 7 PM but many bars offer the chance to start earlier in the day. 

The longest happy hours in the city


Skúli Craft Bar
is a bar frequented by locals. This charming little craft bar offers a wide selection of high quality Icelandic beers and is the perfect place to sit, talk and play some games.
Happy hour: 12 PM to 7 PM
Location: Aðalstræti 9

Ölstofan is definitely the bar to visit to meet some locals. This traditional bar has a long history as one of the coolest bars in Reykjavík, as it has been frequented by local actors and musicians for as long as the bar has been open.
Happy hour: 3 PM to 8 PM
Location: Vegamótastigur 4

Prikið is one of Reykjavík´s oldest bars going strong since 1951. They’re a live music location with some of Iceland’s greatest DJs and musicians playing there. Bring a friend or make some new ones at Prikið´s legendary bar.
Happy hour: 4 PM to 8 PM
Location: Bankastræti 12

Happy hour and food – a little taste of Reykjavík


Public House Gastropub
is a great place to start your night out at. Grab a bite to eat at this Japanese fusion gastropub and pair it with their prize winning cocktails. More of an early bird? Make sure to check out their Bottomless Brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Happy hour: 3 PM to 6 PM
Location: Laugavegur 24

Bastard Brew & Food brews their own beer and has a very ambitious cocktail menu. You can also be sure to make your tastebuds very happy with one of their delicious tacos or flatbreads.
Happy hour: 3 PM to 6 PM
Location: Vegamótastígur 4

 

Íslenski barinn the Icelandic Bar
Photo: Jelena Ciric. The Icelandic Bar

The Icelandic bar is a great choice if you want to have a little taste of Iceland. The Icelandic bar offers more than a 100 types of locally brewed beers as well as spirits and liquor produced in Iceland. They also serve local cuisine, both very traditionally and with a twist.
Happy hour: 4 PM to 6 PM
Location: Ingólfsstræti 1a

Lebowski bar is a fun, mainstream bar that also serves food until 10 PM every day. This Big Lebowski inspired bar is known for its White Russian menu, serving 24 variations of the creamy cocktail. They also host a pub quiz that takes place every Thursday night at 9 PM.
Happy hour: 4 PM to 7 PM
Location: Laugavegur 20a

Local favourites


Vínstúkan
is Reykjavík’s beloved wine bar with a carefully curated selection of (natural) wines. Pair your wine with their delicious tapas-like dishes, perfect for intimate dates or cosy gatherings. During their unique happy hour, sharing a bottle of wine earns you two complimentary dishes. Experience the perfect blend of fine wine, culinary delights, and cherished moments at Vínstúkan
Happy hour: 5 PM to 7 PM
Location: Laugavegur 27

Kaffibarinn has stood as a cornerstone of Icelandic nightlife since its opening in 1993. Despite its modest size, the bar has a unique charm that draws crowds, especially during weekends. However, a visit during the daytime offers a nice ambiance, ideal for enjoying a coffee or beer.
Happy hour: 5 PM to 7 PM
Location: Bergstaðastræti 1

Röntgen welcomes you with a warm, candlelit ambiance and lovely background music. As the weekend approaches, the atmosphere seamlessly shifts from cosy to lively, with the dance floor opening up around midnight. Whether you’re seeking a serene evening sipping drinks by candlelight or craving the energy of a vibrant dance party, Röntgen offers the perfect setting for both experiences.
Happy hour: 4 PM to 7 PM
Location: Hverfisgata 12

Must know´s before enjoying Reykjavík´s nightlife

Before diving into the vibrant nightlife of Reykjavík, there are some essential points to keep in mind. Firstly, the legal drinking age in Iceland is 20 years old and it’s standard practice for bars to have doormen checking IDs, especially on weekends. Additionally, if you’re planning a night out during the winter months, it’s crucial to check the weather forecast and dress accordingly, ensuring you have sturdy footwear for navigating the icy streets.

While tipping isn’t customary in Iceland, and drinks can be on the pricey side, it’s ultimately about enjoying yourself responsibly. So, embrace the unique experience, stay safe, and have a fantastic night out in Reykjavík.

People partying in Reykjavík Iceland
Photo: Golli. Reykjavík nightlife

Does Reykjavík have a good nightlife?

When thinking of Iceland, partying might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the world’s most peaceful nation boasts a vibrant nightlife scene waiting to be explored.

Locals in Reykjavík typically kick off their evenings at home before venturing out quite late, usually around 1 or 2 AM. They continue to revel into the early morning hours, with many bars remaining open until 5 AM. Especially during the summertime, witnessing the transition from the dimly lit interiors of bars to the bright summer night can be an enchanting experience, adding to the allure of Reykjavík’s nightlife

What are bars like in Iceland?

Icelandic bars aren’t typically large venues, but they often offer a range of additional services such as food, happy hours, talented DJs to keep the dance floor buzzing and even open up for brunch the next day. 

Expect a delightful mix of aesthetically pleasing interiors and welcoming atmospheres. Whether you prefer a fancy cocktail bar, a cosy wine bar or a traditional brown café, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

 

Is there a dress code for nightlife in Iceland?

While many bars in Iceland don’t enforce a strict dress code, some of the more upscale venues may expect their guests to dress nicely, opting for attire like blazers, suits, or elegant dresses. 

It’s common for Icelanders to dress up when heading out for the night, showcasing their knack for stylish outfits that also keep them warm during winter bar-hopping adventures. So, while there’s no formal requirement, blending style with practicality is key to fitting in with the locals during Reykjavík´s nightlife scene.

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